The party collects some choice items from the Aerie, the temple to Duraga, and leaves. Not before having to deal once again with the swarms of birds and a firebird that was unleashed when they disturbed the ruby set into one of the towers.
They returned to Ar-Ensul with a couple of unusual items, including the petrified remains of an arm holding a wand, and a stone chest. They hope that alchemical analysis will reveal how to unpetrify the materials.
However, they do not have long to spend in the keep. A wounded prospector from Diamond City has come begging for help. The town was attacked by strange trolls with crystal shards embedded in their hides.
The party sets off the next day and makes it to Diamond City the next day. It is in bad shape, the ladders and trellises that once connected the many cave-dwellings have been mostly destroyed, and the town looted, although what was taken is unclear. The party resolved to track the beasts to their lair. Praying to his totem LInneaus once again tracked the fell beasts to a ravine where they encountered a severed troll head warning them not to pass. It being late they retreated to some safety outside the ravine and camped. That night they were surprise attacked by strange trollike quadropeds also with the embedded crystal shards in their flesh. These 'trollverines' put up a good attack, but were eventually defeated. The party moved away to rest until morning. They once again returned to the trail and followed it to a strange cave that looked like the rib cage of some monstrous crystaline being. They entered cautiously and were set upon by the guards. Two shard-trolls attacked, and as the party was finishing them off, they sounded an alarm. This brought four more trollverines and three more trolls to the fight. In a pitched battle Graal was nearly slain, but even as he was dying, the bloodsoaked mantle of his family crest gave him the power to fight on. He continued his attack, and the party was able to heal him before he died, and destroy the trolls. This appeared to be the bullk of the menace, searching the small cave complex they saw no more, though perhaps some may have escaped fleeing the area.
The party returned to Ar-Ensul.